I have been a very busy woman! I started a little babysitting job two days a week...you would think I was working a forty hour week with the way it through me off! Oh well!
This is going to be a great week. It's VBS :) That's Vacation Bible School, in case you live under a rock. I have such great memories of VBS, I mean really terrific! It's why I try and help out every year, it is worth it to put in the time and effort to give children happy, lasting memories that hopefully will impact them for eternity! Truth is, I know whole families that have come to know Jesus as their personal Savior because of the ministry of VBS at various churches.
A few things have changed since my childhood...here are some highlights:
1. When I went it was called DVBS, Daily Vacation Bible School. It lasted two weeks and it was always first thing in the morning.
NOW, at our church it is called Kidz Kamp, it's one week and it's still first thing in the morning. I have real issues with the name, the teacher in me just really hates that we are spelling it wrong. Why do we want to teach kids the wrong thing? And, in true church fashion, we changed it from VBS to Kidz Kamp to make it more non-church friendly. Really??? Everyone in the country knows what VBS is...what in the world is Kidz Kamp with K's and Z's??? I digress...
2. When I went we had snack every day, two pretzels and a dixie cup of red bug juice. On Fridays we got old fashioned snow cones. You remember them right? You picked a flavor and they squirted it onto the shaved ice held in a paper cone. Fab-u-lous!
NOW, at most churches, the snacks are very involved and somehow match whatever the cute theme for the year is. For example, for beach week, they might get blue jello cups with gummy fish floating inside. This is adorable, put probably goes completely unappreciated by young children.
3. When I went game time meant tag in the parking lot, around the big tree. I'm not really even sure if anyone was in charge, we just ran amok and tried to stay within the boundaries marked by metal folding chairs.
NOW, recreation time is again, very closely linked to the cute theme. Games are varied by age group and require all kinds of gear and creative thinking. This is a highlight for many a child, and I suppose a low point for those that really hate gym class!
4. An addition I saw start a few years back is a Science session each day. This is wonderful, the kids usually love it, if the teachers can make it interactive enough, and they might really learn something cool about Science in addition to learning that Jesus loves them and died on the cross for their sins!
5.. When I went closing program was the last Friday night. Everyone came, probably dressed up since I went to Baptist Church, and each grade got up front, said a few Bible Verses and sang a few songs. The youth pastor usually preached a mini-sermon, than we went downstairs and had more pretzels and red bug juice (cookies were added eventually). All of our crafts would be laying out for everyone to see and we all just ran around the gym like crazy people hopped up on red bug juice!
NOW, and this is a HUGE improvement, we have a picnic the last Friday. It's a lot of work, but well worth it I think. Parents come at regular pick up time, hear the kids sing a song or two, then hear a brief synopsis of the week and then they go outside for hotdogs and chips and a fun carnival like atmosphere. Rumor has it that we even have an inflatable water slide coming this year!!! Dare to dream :)
The other basic foundations of VBS are the same, great music, silly skits, interactive stories, Bible memory, prizes, bring a friend, and basically a week of sheer bliss! I'm exhausted just thinking about it. If you're reading this and are of the praying sort, pray for me this week as I teach the Bible lesson each day to preK, Kinder and 1st grade. And if you live in the area, send your kids on over to SonSurf Beach Bash!
ps the opinions in this blog are just that, my opinions! I'm sure there are plenty of people who love that we call it Kidz Kamp. I know the person that thought of it loves kids and loves to see them grow in their relationship with Jesus. She is more creative than I and probably a lot less critical too :)